The date of：2019-07-03 类型：TECHNOLOGY NEWS
keywords：Hangzhou Sunzoom Household Co., Ltd.,
Predicting Our Future is a podcast about the next revolutions in technology, as seen through the eyes of a serial entrepreneur. Below is an edited transcript excerpt from "Episode 16: How Homes Powered By Artificial Intelligence Will Know You And Take Care Of You" — the final episode in a 7-part series on the future of the smart home.
In this episode of Predicting Our Future, I’ll paint a picture of what life in our future homes might look like and explore how smart homes will use personas and Artificial Intelligence to fulfill our needs before we’re even aware of them.
Drowning In To-Do Lists
For my smart home podcast series, I’ve been interviewing my friends to find out what tools they use to manage their list of to-do’s. “I keep them in a Google doc,” one friend told me. “I keep it multiple Google Docs,” said another friend. “Each one is dated, and I when I think I’m no longer serious about following a list, I simply create another one with a new date.” One guy used Evernote. Best of all was a friend of mine who explained how his to-do lists are memorialized with stickies on his bedroom wall, much to the chagrin of his wife.
While the tools were all different, the one thing that everyone seemed to have in common was a general feeling of failure when it came to crossing enough things off their list and an abiding belief that there was too much to do in too little time. Everyone seemed to be searching for a magic elixir that would save them more time
I often wonder how technology can improve our lives. One area in particular that fascinates me is identifying tasks that technology can handle so that they don’t need to appear on my to-do list, and just as importantly, so that they won't occupy space in my mind. I read once about the dressing habits of people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg who seemingly wear the same outfit everyday. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that both men have multiple identical pants and identical shirts. The reason for wearing the same outfit every day? If you always wear the same thing, then there is no decision to make. You can then turn to more important decisions and lead a more productive life.
How, you might ask, are to-do lists and clothes connected to the smart home? I've explored how technology like the smart thermostat or smart lighting could save me money if they only turned on when I was in a room in need of heat or air conditioning or light. That’s interesting, but what’s infinitely more exciting to me is if the smart home could offload my decisions and work by completing tasks independently of me. Fewer decisions that I need to make means more time for me to focus on the things that really matter.
A Smart Home Driven By Artificial Intelligence
In many industries, when you interview an ambitious leader, he or she will talk with you about how they will reinvent factory-built housing or the fitness space or retail. However, in some, people will talk about how they are part of an ecosystem and how their success is in large part predicated on the success of other companies in the ecosystem. In the case of the smart home, almost all of the players I interviewed talked about a future where the holy grail was a home driven by Artificial Intelligence.
Think of Artificial Intelligence as computing power that is able to perform particularly complex tasks that would otherwise require a human brain to perform. A motion sensor might trigger a light to turn on. But if a home had Artificial Intelligence, it might consider the time of day, the person walking around the home, and where she was walking in deciding which light to turn on and how long to keep it on for. Not every person I spoke to used the words “Artificial Intelligence.” A hot phrase you’ll hear again and again from experts is that a house needs to be “aware” or “contextually aware” before you can bring Artificial Intelligence into the home.
Let’s imagine the universe of things a house can be aware of: it can be aware of the presence of the people who live in the house (along with their personas); it can be aware of what they’re doing; it can even be aware of what every device in the house is doing. If you want the house to think like a human, the house needs to be able to analyze the data a human would analyze before making a decision.
Your Home As Your Personal Caretaker
How would it work for a smart home to free me of some of my decision-making? How could it lighten the load for me, literally and figuratively? Let’s imagine a day together. You wake up in the morning and your alarm goes off. It’s not a buzzer. You want to discover new music on Spotify and this song is on your suggested Discover Weekly list. What’s really interesting, though, is not the song. It’s the fact that you didn’t have to set the alarm the night before.
That’s because there is some level of intelligence in the cloud that’s watching over you and trying to simplify your life. It knows that today you have a spin class because it checked your workout goals, which then checked availability for a class at SoulCycle, which then purchased the class, which then put it on your calendar. The system was smart enough to calculate travel time and set the alarm appropriately.
You stagger out of bed and walk down the stairs to the kitchen. The coffee just finished brewing. You have your smart home to thank for that. Your yogurt and granola is ready in the exact proportions you want inside the refrigerator. The refrigerator knew earlier in the week that you were running low on breakfast foods and placed an order online. You’re in a rush, so you walk out the door and leave for the gym.
There’s no time to set the alarm or draw the blinds (which is something you do when you leave the house so that people can’t look in while you’re away). You don’t think to turn off the music or the lights or lower the heat, as you won’t need to heat the house to 72 degrees while you’re away. It’s not that you forget to do all of those things. You just don’t have to think about them, because the house knows that you left. It knows to lock the door behind you, to turn off the coffee maker, to pull the blinds, to reduce the heat, to shut off the music, and to turn off the lights.
Today is shopping today. Really, every day is shopping day. The sensors in your drawers measure the toilet paper that is left, and the sensors in the closet monitor cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. You’re running low on a few things. The online order is placed. When it arrives, the cameras at your front door will recognize the FedEx truck and coordinate with the lock to pop open your front door. The delivery man’s picture will be taken and a gentle voice will come on over your speakers, asking him to set down the packages just inside the house. Cameras will be watching him from beginning to end, and the door will close on its own behind him when he leaves. Your home’s robot then proceeds to unpack the items and place them where they belong.
After a long day at work, it’s time to return home. As you leave the office and get in your car, your home is alerted that you’re on your way. The house begins to heat up. When you pull into the driveway and walk up your stoop to the front door, you pause briefly for a retinal scan. It’s you. The house knows and opens the front door. You are represented by a persona to the smart home that you partially configured and that the house has partially developed on you, based upon patterns it was able to recognize through sensors and cameras. This is Artificial Intelligence in the cloud at work in your home.
There are a couple of big objectives you’ve set for yourself this past New Year’s. You want to eat healthier and lose some weight. You are also hoping find a routine at night that might help with your anxiety and sleep. Your sleep has been uneven for quite some time. The diet, the anxiety-reducing routine, and the sleep hygiene are all associated with your persona in the cloud that the house is now relying on to welcome you home.
Your wife isn’t home just yet, so the lights in the entryway are adjusted to a calming setting as the music comes on, which is so faint and melodic that it fades into the background. Dinner tonight will be fresh salmon and steamed vegetables — selected for you by the cloud, based on your objectives and tastes (which are all part of the persona). The ingredients are there in the refrigerator, which were delivered and put there a day earlier. You start cooking so that when your wife arrives, dinner will be ready. After dinner, you retire to the den while your wife goes to the office. The smart home has created a different persona for your wife and would have greeted her differently if she had come home from work before you.
A gentle chime comes on over the speakers, followed by a voice telling you that the big game starts in 10 minutes. For your wife, a voice announces it’s time for her to begin the 90 minutes of work she wanted to do before going to bed. The blinds are pulled, lights are dimmed, and TV is turned on for you, while your wife has different background music and lighting in the office. For both of you, your watches read your internal temperatures and blood pressures, signaling the house to adjust the temperature, fans, and lighting accordingly.
You don’t have to particularly worry about cleaning up. In the morning after you both leave for work, your home robot will pick up after you and then the vacuum cleaner will vacuum the house. You both like listening to a meditative app before sleep. Wind down begins promptly at 10PM. 15 minutes later, with the breathing exercises finished, you both go to bed. Lights out.